Isaiah 51 ✒️ Remember

May 13, 2024 • Dr. Dave Burnette

1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.

 2Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

 3For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

 4Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

 5My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

 6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

 7Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

 8For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.

 9Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

 10Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?

 11Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

 12I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

 13And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?

 14The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.

 15But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.

 16And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

 17Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.

 18There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.

 19These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?

 20Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.

 21Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:

 22Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:

 23But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

COMMENTARY by Dr. Dave Burnette

Written By: God through Inspiration

Penned By: Isaiah

Date Penned: (700-681 BC)

Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)

Theme: Words of Comfort (c 40-66)

Message: The People Must Fear God (v 1-23)

Isaiah 51 Commentary 

(51:1-2) The Faithful Remnant - The faithful remnant may have felt alone because they were few. But God reminded them of their ancestors, the source of their spiritual heritage--Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was only one person, but much came from his faithfulness. Sarah had only one child, Isaac, but many descendants. If the faithful few would remain faithful, even more could come from them. If we Christians, even a faithful few, remain faithful, think of what God can do through us! 

(51:3) Eden - "Eden" and "the garden of the LORD" are references to the Garden of Eden at Creation. The land of Israel would once again flourish like Eden did when the world was created (Genesis 2:8-15). One day, we will get to experience a similar place. At the end of the world, the Lord will make new heavens and a new earth. About this, John wrote, "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new" (Revelation 21:5). Those who follow God will be part of his new creation. 

(51:7) Fear God Not People - Isaiah encouraged those who followed God's laws. He gave them hope when they faced the reproach of other people or suffered insults because of their faith. We need not fear when people insult us for our faith because God is with us and truth will ultimately prevail. If people malign or disdain you because you believe in God, remember that they are not against you personally but against God. They are rejecting his demands on their lives, and he will deal with them. You should concentrate on loving and obeying him. 

(51:9-10) A Path - God had performed many powerful miracles in founding Israel, perhaps none more exciting than making a dry path through the middle of the Red Sea (see Exodus 14). Our God is the same God who made that path through the sea. His methods may change, but his love and care do not. Pray that he will open a path for you in your job, your family, your friendships, and your decisions. 

(51:12-16) God's Power is Greater - God's people feared Babylon, but not God. They had reason to fear Babylon for the harm its people wanted to do, but they should also have realized that God's power was much greater than Babylon's. Babylon was interested in making the people captives; God was interested in setting them free. The people had misplaced their fear and their love. They should have feared God's power and loved his mercy. 

(51:17) A Heavenly City - Jerusalem was God's holy city, the city with his temple. But the people of Judah experienced ruin instead of prosperity, destruction instead of liberty. Because of their sins, the people lost their wealth and their freedom. Yet God promised to restore Jerusalem as a holy city. God reigns in the heavenly city, and sinners may not enter (see Revelation 21:8). Put your entire faith and confidence in his ability to control the course of history--and the events of your life.


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 51. Our text today shows how God's people must fear or revere the Lord. In today's text, Jerusalem feared the Babylonians who threatened to harm them instead of remembering the Lord who had delivered them. In making an application, we will face enemies who threaten us and cause us fear. Our proper response is to remember what God has done for us and the promises in His Word, and we should fear and reverence our Lord. How about you? Are you facing an enemy in your life? Let us learn from our text today to remember that we are to fear the Lord for what He has done and what He will do instead of the threats of the enemy.

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